The Way to Happiness

The Way to Happiness

In seeking Happiness for others, you find it in yourself.         (anonymous)

The world’s problems are truly overwhelming.  One can often think, “There is nothing I can do.”  So, then they do nothing.  Trying to help with any of the world’s problems can seem like trying to bail out a sinking boat with a tea-spoon. When we think of how our “small” efforts might affect the word’s problems it might seem useless; especially when we are in the midst of trying to deal with our own overwhelming problems.  “How can someone like Me help Anyone?!”

The answer is actually quite simple: Every time you even try to brighten someone’s day, there is a ripple effect in the universe that spreads light and joy and hope in the world.  Scientific studies do show tangible evidence that your intent to spread joy actually causes the elements such as water to respond to your thoughts by altering their molecular composition.  Sounds like hocus pocus, or even delusional thinking; but it is absolutely a scientific fact.  (Please read the research of Dr. Masaru Emoto.)   Therefore, when you intentionally try to help someone else experience happiness, your efforts are helping not only that person, but also the world around you.  Your intentions spread.

Something as simple as a smile, or a compliment, or coins for a parking meter can change someone’s life and can give them enough hope to find what they are seeking in their own life.  Hope can go a long way in advancing someone’s life; and they in turn can go on to help others.

It might be best to start spreading joy with people who appear more open to your kind gesture or smile; then you can progress to the real challenging work of trying to spread a little happiness to those who appear angry, anxious, or sad.  These are the people who need it the most; and in some cases they will not return the smile or show any form of appreciation for your kind efforts (even for parking meter money).  Spreading joy does have immense rewards, and some of those might be harmonious relationships with those whom you are trying to help.  However, if immediate positive feedback is what you are seeking, you will be disappointed at times.  The effects are often unseen; but they are nonetheless very real.  Your life will change for the better, in the long run.

Happiness and hope are infectious.  Start spreading a little of those things today in any way that you can, and feel your own happiness start to increase.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                                          August 9, 2017




An Invitation to Readers

I would love to hear from you.  I would like to hear what principles you have found that help you in life: Physically, emotionally, spiritually; or in any other way.  I would also like to know how you would like to be identified (or not) if your thoughts are published on this blog site.

Also interested in hearing from anyone who has tried a plant-based diet for more than 6 weeks at a time.

You can contact me at Dr.Knippers@att,net

Thank You,

Christopher Knippers           08/02/1017

The Healing Effect of Confidence

The Healing Effect of Confidence

What you focus on becomes your reality.     (from cognitive psychology, and spiritual teachings of numerous faiths for millenia)

Confidence is a quality that most anyone greatly desires, but yet confidence can be illusive.  Many people have something about themselves or about life, about which they are insecure.  Certainly, a chronic illness can put a damper on confidence.

In 1907, the great physician/psychologist Dr. Alfred Adler identified the condition of “organ inferiority” in people who had chronic illness, and the fact that this organ inferiority affected their personality and their approach to life.  Organ inferiority is a condition that causes people with chronic illness to have a deep sense (often unconscious) of inferiority due to the dysfunction of their body.

We can overcome this sense of inferiority by: (a) identifying it; (b) Adjusting our thoughts to realize our value despite the illness; (c) Focussing on our strengths; (d) And focussing on the reality of the possibilities in life that do indeed exist for us.

My life has been transformed by focussing on all of the miracles that have occurred for me through the years, rather than focussing on the traumas that preceded the miracles.  I also focus on miraculous occurrences in other people’s lives throughout time.  This new focus has given me a deep sense of confidence that a power does exist in the universe which can help us overcome anything; and this focus has helped me appreciate my own role in overcoming the problems that have frequently presented in my life.  This type of confidence has produced a sense of humility that was not characteristic for me, earlier in my life.  I accept my life as it is and as it is not; and I know that it is all good.  Situations around me may be ever-changing, people around me may be upset (even with me), and situations in my own life may not be ideal; but I stay centered in the knowledge that all things are possible, and that a Power greater than myself is giving me the knowledge that I need to deal with whatever is happening around me.  There is a core identity on which I remain focussed; and I embrace that identity.  This calm peaceful approach to life has given me much more energy and confidence to deal with life, and its ups and downs.

This state of confidence makes healing and vitality significantly more likely, since it eliminates stress which is one of the greatest triggers for illness of all types, and which hinders healing.  By cultivating confidence in your life, you are creating the perfect conditions within yourself for healing and vitality to take hold.

Realize your true value and your true nature; and realize the Power that is in your favor.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                         July 12, 2017



The Divine Spark

The Divine Spark

Deep within you is a divine spark that can become the unconquerable human spirit.  And that flame is the Power in the Universe that created you.  In some it burns brightly, in others it is barely distinguishable; but it always burns . . . and with love and acceptance it gets higher and brighter.  We can help others kindle this flame by seeing the good in them, even though they don’t see it in themselves.     (From Gnostic, Jewish, Christian, and other spiritual teachings)

Many of us describe ourselves as “spiritual” in our beliefs and in our approach to coping with chronic illness; but spiritual is often ill-defined.  The philosophy expressed above has given me a tangible definition of spirituality.  I have found that focusing on this “divine spark” that I do believe resides within us, helps me to not only avoid focusing on my symptoms, but has helped me to actually overcome them.

When I realize that there is the wisdom, power, and love of my Creator residing within me, it is comforting and empowering.  I begin to realize more of my potential to overcome adversity and to express more of my purpose in life.

The last part of that philosophy above is also important to remember.  We can help other people realize the spark in them by seeing the best in them instead of judging and criticising them.  We also need to be aware that the people with whom we tend to spend most of our time can have an effect on whether or not we find the divine spark within ourselves.  Avoid people who judge and criticise.  Avoid judging and criticising yourself.

Wisdom, power, and love is the expression of the divine spark in you.  Nurture the divine spark in you through focusing your attention on it; and realize that you will find the expression of wisdom, power, and love growing in your own life.  It is a matter of where you turn your attention: To the chaos around you (and sometimes within); or to the Divine Spark within you.  Choose wisdom, power, and love.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                                  July 5, 2017

Centering on the Truth

Centering on the Truth

At the center of your being you have the answer.          Lao Tzu, 500 B.C.

Our minds function on 3 basic levels.  The level on which we are functioning can determine our level of fulfillment, peacefulness, success, happiness, and health.

On the outer level, we are focusing on the person whom we want the world and ourselves to see.  Sometimes referred to as the Persona.  This is necessary for our functioning in relationships with other people, and even ourselves.

On the next level, there are all of the emotional states, thoughts, and experiences of our lives that we would rather not see.  We store up memories, feelings, beliefs, personality traits (both positive and negative) some of which we can see occasionally, but others of which we are not even aware unless they come bubbling up unexpectedly due to something we are experiencing.  It is good to gradually, patiently explore this area of ourselves since it is affecting us whether we are aware of it or not.  It is important to be aware of this level; but not to judge yourself negatively for it, and not to be afraid of it.  The great psychiatrist Carl Jung called this level “The Shadow Self” and urged us to “make a friend of the Shadow”; not to resist or fight it.

At the center of our being is that part of us that connects to a Power greater than ourselves, and thereby knows the ultimate truth about ourselves and our lives.  However, this “knowing” usually is expressed more through states of being, such as peace and joy, rather than through conspicuous thoughts.  It is usually just a state of deep contentment, and confidence in ultimate victory.  Most people have experienced this state, at least briefly, most often through meditation, prayer, or communing with nature.  We have all experienced overcoming some significant problem, and often people attribute an amazing breakthrough as being the sign of a Higher Power operating in their lives.  unfortunately, most people forget how that power has helped them in the past; so they continue to worry or to try to control the uncontrollable.  We do not have to worry, nor try to control.  We can take our problems to the center of our being where we can let it go and surrender it to the ultimate power in the Universe.

A self-guided meditation which I find helpful in accessing this center of higher consciousness goes like this:  Get comfortable, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths slowly, and feel the muscles of your body relax; Think of how you have been presenting yourself to others; Then, move to the next level and think of something about which you have been concerned (e.g. health, finances, relationships, work, etc.); Now, focus on that center where you know that all is well, that there is a Power greater than yourself that has gotten you through many difficult situations before, and which can help you overcome any difficulty; stay in that center for a while, feeling the peace and perhaps joy or insight come over you; Then place whatever you have concerns about in that center, where you can surrender control of that to a Higher Power.

After the meditation, it is important to remind yourself what you experienced in that center, and to return to the center, daily.

At the center of your being is the answer.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                                    June 28, 2017

Healing Through Service

Healing Through Service

“Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when lived for others.”                        Helen Keller

When we are dealing daily with a chronic illness, it can take all of our attention, and eventually we can begin to believe that we are of no use to anyone.  We can arrive at this thought quite honestly, since indeed some illnesses do require a significant amount of our life’s focus and attention.

We know that service to others is one of the most significant aspects, if not the most fulfilling aspect of living; so we all want to participate in that.  You still can, regardless of what you have to deal with physically, yourself.

If a blind, deaf, mute woman (Helen Keller) can realize that life is most fulfilling when lived for others, I think any of us can focus on service to others.  There is no lack of need for service in our world.

Even the slightest gestures of kindness toward another person can make a huge difference in their lives.  A smile, an offer of assistance (even when refused), or our listening ear for a few minutes can change a person’s life.  Years ago when I wrestled with anxiety and depression on a regular basis, I have received hope from even a stranger giving me a brief smile when passing on the street.  To this day when I start to feel a little discouraged, I am personally inspired and encouraged by people I know who deal daily with significant physical problems, but manage to show kindness to others.

You have a treasure of kindness in you to give to a world of people who are feeling fearful, angry, hopeless, and powerless.  Suicide has increased in all age groups but is epidemic among teens.  Even small children experience such despair as to take their own lives.  Poverty and homelessness are on the rise.  These are just two examples of many I could give of very great needs in our world.  Your small acts of kindness can give hope, encouragement, and make a real difference in people’s lives.  You can’t wipe out all of the despair in the world; but giving hope to just one person can have a global effect.

You are just exactly what a hurting word needs.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                                 June 21, 2017

The Healing Power of Music

The Healing Power of Music

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of our soul.   Plato

Music is another one of those simple sources of healing power in our lives.  We have all experienced the healing effects of music; and anecdotal evidence of its healing effects abound.  We often hear sayings such as: “Music is the universal language,” and “Music soothes the savage beast.”  Sometimes the “savage beast” is inside of us in the form of anxiety, depression, or physical illness.

Scientists have done extensive research on the effect of music on both the emotions and the body, finding that music does indeed have measurable healing effects on both the mind and the body.  There is evidence that music may act via the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates bodily functions over which we have no control.  The parasympathetic nervous system effects both our bodily functions and our emotions.  Music also reaches numerous brain systems that control both emotion and physical functioning.  Research shows significant reduction in stress levels, increased relaxation, reduction in pain, and improvements in the results when music is used in conjunction with other medical interventions, such as physical therapy, surgery, and medication.

The types of music which have consistently shown the most significant healing effects have been classical (most often Mozart and Beethoven), as well as easy listening, both instrumental and vocal.  However, individuals relate to different types of music, so it ends up being a very personal choice.

There are also obvious spiritual benefits to music.  Many people report feeling closer to God and even hearing the voice of God in music.  Aldous Huxley (not exactly My guru) is quoted as saying that “Next to silence, music is the closest experience of God.”

Music is a simple effective treatment for the mind, body and soul.

Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.                                                   June 13, 2017